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Conjugated polymer photocatalysts for water splitting and bacteria inactivation

Pure and Applied Chemistry

Glasgow United Kingdom Environmental Chemistry Organic Chemistry Materials Science Physical Chemistry

About the Project

The production of clean energy and access to clean water are two very important contemporary challenges for our societies. The Sprick group (, Twitter: @SebSprick) aims to solve these challenges by designing conjugated polymers that use the Sun’s energy for water splitting and bacteria inactivation.

Conjugated polymers have emerged as an exciting new photocatalyst class in the last 5 years allowing for their properties to be much better fine-tuned by using a wide range of building blocks compared to inorganic photocatalysts. This project will be focused on the development of new materials through new synthetic strategies and post-synthetic modification. A particular focus will be on large-scale application in photocatalytic water splitting and on-demand sterilisation, which has not been widely explored yet.

The student will gain experience in modern synthetic methods, characterisation techniques, as well as in photochemical measurements and cell culturing. Additional opportunities are available through the University’s PG Researcher Professional Development Programme to develop transferable skills. Research findings will be published in high impact journals with the opportunity to present at an international conference.

Interested applicants should email Dr Sprick at , including a curriculum vitae and a statement on how they will obtain funding to carry out their PhD studies.


C. M. Aitchison, R. S. Sprick, Nanoscale 2021, DOI: 10.1039/D0NR07533G.
Y. Bai, D. J. Woods, L. Wilbraham, C. M. Aitchison, M. A. Zwijnenburg, R. S. Sprick, A. I. Cooper, J. Mater. Chem. A 2020, 8, 8700-8705.
M. Sachs, R. S. Sprick, D. Pearce, S. A. J. Hillman, A. Monti, A. A. Y. Guilbert, N. J. Brownbill, S. Dimitrov, X. Shi, F. Blanc, M. A. Zwijnenburg, J. Nelson, J. R. Durrant, A. I. Cooper, Nat. Commun. 2018, 9, 4968.
R. S. Sprick, J.-X. Jiang, B. Bonillo, S. Ren, T. Ratvijitvech, P. Guiglion, M. A. Zwijnenburg, D. J. Adams, A. I. Cooper, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 3265-3270

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